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Boys Town Washington DC Helps Riley Family Stand Tall

Terrina and her kids, Demaurice and Paris, have a brighter future thanks to Boys Town’s help.

Terrina Riley literally had nowhere else to go when she first came to Boys Town Washington DC.

But today, thanks to the help of Boys Town Family Consultant Kayma Freeman, Terrina and her family are on their way to a healthy recovery.

Terrina and her children became homeless after they were asked to leave Terrina's father's one-bedroom apartment due to conditions in his lease. With nowhere to live and no transportation, Terrina was at a crossroads. When her children's school attendance became irregular because of the family's situation, Terrina was referred to Boys Town's In-Home Family Services® through a program in which Boys Town Washington DC partners with District of Columbia Public Schools.

Freeman was assigned to the family's case and quickly tapped into community resources so Terrina, son Demaurice and daughter Paris could be placed in an emergency shelter. It wasn't the ideal situation, Freeman said, but it was an important first step in the Riley family's recovery.

"Ms. Riley was in a tough situation," Freeman said. "Being told to leave her father's apartment was rough on everyone. But when we secured a place for them to stay at the emergency shelter, it changed things. Since they had a place to live, she was able to get transportation for her son to attend school. That was the real start to turning things around."

With Demaurice attending school regularly, his grades improved dramatically. And thanks to Freeman's help, Terrina was able to look into renting a more permanent residence and apply for a job. She even obtained a learner's permit to drive and is hoping to get her own car.

Terrina eventually enrolled both of her children in a better school and sought services for her own well-being. Freeman also provided three bags of clothing for Terrina and her children.

In a note to Freeman, Terrina expressed her appreciation:

"…You have allowed me to be myself and because of that, I have matured a lot. It's kinda making me emotional because I wish I wouldn't have met you thru truancy because you're just enough to consider a good friend. Am attached to you in a way I don't feel alone now. Am glad you inspired me and my life, now with these clothes… I feel more completed as a woman. Even tho I am shedding tears… They are tears of JOY!!! I just wanted you to know you have made me GROW!!!"

Freeman says Terrina has lofty goals.

"Ms. Riley has said to me many times that she would love to have her own home where her children can run freely," Freeman said. "She would love to be able to go to school and work to support her and her children. She just wants to stand on her own two feet without having to wait for or rely on anyone."

With the compassionate guidance of Freeman and Boys Town Washington DC, the door is now open for Terrina to follow that dream.